UK GOVERNMENT MUST URGENTLY U-TURN ON PLANS TO REMOVE £20 BENEFITS UPLIFT SAYS JENNY GILRUTH MSP

Published date : 27 Nov 2020

Thousands of people in Mid Fife and Glenrothes will be plunged into poverty as the UK government plans to end vital coronavirus support to people receiving benefits such as Universal Credit.

Currently around 8,800 are receiving Universal Credit in Glenrothes but are set to lose out on the £20-a-week uplift brought in to provide a lifeline during the pandemic.

The Tory government is set to take away the uplift and reinstate the Minimum Income Floor by April 2021. A Scottish Government report calculates that the decision will cost households in Scotland up to £476million.

Commenting on the news, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:

“The Tories' proposals to withdraw this £20 uplift in April would pull the rug out from thousands of families in Mid Fife and Glenrothes at a time when they need support the most.

“The pandemic is not over yet - so the UK government needs to reconsider these plans and tailor them for the needs of people who are either out of work or whose income has been devastated by the impact of COVID-19.

“I would urge the UK government to take into consideration the impact this decision will have on people in areas like Mid Fife and Glenrothes and urgently reverse it.

“The SNP Government is doing all it can to support families who are struggling, by introducing game-changing benefits like the Scottish Child Payment, and we will continue to build a benefits system that is kind, caring and compassionate with the limited powers we currently hold.

"An independent Scotland would have full social security powers to build a fair social security system that gives families the support they need.”

 

Notes

  • Access local UC stats here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/constituency-data-universal-credit-roll-out/
     
  • The Scottish Government report, Impact of withdrawing emergency benefit measures, can be read in full here.  The Minimum Income Floor (MIF) is a base amount used to calculate how much Universal Credit should be awarded to self-employed people. Anyone earning below the MIF is treated as though they earn that amount, while those earning more have their actual earnings taken into account.
     
  • When the UK Government removed the MIF, everyone who was self-employed received benefits based on their actual earnings.
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